History and Social Sciences


“Study the past if you would define the future.” – Confucius

History and the social sciences examine human experience as it changes over time and the interrelationships among societies. With an emphasis on critical thinking, history attempts to make sense of the present through an analysis of the past. The social sciences – economics, psychology, and human geography – approach the study of human behavior in more scientific terms. Cambridge Prep offers a wide variety of courses in history and the social sciences.

History


Students are required to take 3.5 credits of history and social sciences to graduate and must take courses in world history (Modern World History or Advanced Placement World History), United States history (United States History or Advanced Placement United States History), government (Government or Advanced Placement Government and Politics: United States), and economics (Macroeconomics or Advanced Placement Macroeconomics, and Microeconomics or Advanced Placement Microeconomics). English language learners may take sheltered versions of Modern World History and United States History.

Most students take a world history course in ninth or tenth grade, United States history in eleventh grade, and government and economics in twelfth grade. Students who are especially interested in history are advised to take the Advanced Placement versions of the required courses. When offered, students may take Advanced Placement Art History, Advanced Placement Human Geography, or Advanced Placement Psychology as senior year electives.

Modern World History
Modern World History is the first of the three required history/social science courses students take at Cornerstone Academy. The course covers the Foundations of Democracy, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Latin American Revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism and Resistance Movements, World War One, the Rise of Totalitarian Regimes, the Holocaust, World War Two, and the Cold War. The course of study includes both European history and a variety of non-Western perspectives. In this course, students learn basic communication skills and critical thinking skills that will be used throughout their high school education as a basis for college preparation.

United States History
United States History is designed to explore the major events of American History while training with the critical thinking skills necessary for students to succeed in college and beyond. This United States History survey begins with the pre-Columbian America and extends to present day. During this course of their studies, the students will be exposed to historical role playing, primary source documents, speech presentations, and debate. In addition, students will be taught methods of research, defending arguments with evidence, and techniques for powerful writing.

United States Government
Students pursue a deeper understanding of the institute of American government which they will compare with systems of governments found in the world today. Students evaluate the relationships state governments have with both federal and local governments. Students will analyze primary source documents such as the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution of the United States, and major Supreme Court rulings. Using multiple teaching strategies including lecture, group projects, debates, and computer based simulations; this course will teach the skills needed by all citizens who participate in the political process.

Macroeconomics
Macroeconomics gives students an understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course provides an introduction to the study of national income and price-level determination, economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. Combined with microeconomics, this course will provide students the skills necessary to participate in a market based economy.

Microeconomics
Microeconomics gives students an introduction to the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. The student is introduced to the nature and functions of product markets, factor markets, and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Combined with macroeconomics, this course will provide students the skills necessary to participate in a market based economy.

Advanced Placement United States History
Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) focuses on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectives organized around seven themes such as identity, peopling, and ideas, beliefs, and culture. This advanced placement survey course focuses on eight time periods and concentrates on events that occurred from pre-Columbian America to present day. Using multiple teaching strategies and constant evidence based writing assignments this college level course will prepare the student for defend arguments outside the history classroom. Students will be prepared to take the AP exam in May.

Advanced Placement World History
Advanced Placement World History provides a clear framework of six chronological periods in the history of the world viewed through the lens of related key concepts and course themes, accompanied by a set of skills that clearly define what it means to think historically. The course’s organization around a limited number of key concepts instead of a perceived list of facts, events, and dates makes covering each historical period more manageable. Three to four key concepts per period define what is most essential to know about each period based upon the most current historical research in world history. This approach enables students to spend less time on factual recall, more time on learning essential concepts, and helps them develop historical thinking skills necessary to explore broad trends and global processes.

Advanced Placement Government and Politics: United States
Advanced Placement Government and Politics: United States gives students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It provides familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. Students become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes. Students will be prepared to take the AP exam in May.

Advanced Placement Macroeconomics
Advanced Placement Macroeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination, and also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. Students will be prepared to take the AP exam in May.

Advanced Placement Microeconomics
Advanced Placement Microeconomics gives students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Students will be prepared to take the AP exam in May.

Advanced Placement Psychology
Advanced Placement Psychology introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.

Advanced Placement Human Geography
Advanced Placement Human Geography introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students learn to employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications.

Advanced Placement Art History
Advanced Placement Art History helps students develop an understanding and knowledge of diverse historical and cultural contexts of architecture, sculpture, painting and other media. Students examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from the past and the present from a variety of cultures. While visual analysis is a fundamental tool of the art historian, art history emphasizes understanding how and why works of art function in context, considering such issues as patronage, gender, and the functions and effects of works of art.

Directed Study in History and Social Sciences
Students wishing to pursue advanced or elective work in the study of history or the social sciences may propose a directed course of study. Potential courses of study include European history, Asian history, Greek and Roman history, and comparative governments.

We also offer sheltered content classes in world history and United States history for students for students whose native language is not English. These classes offer the same content as our regular academic classes but are taught with a pedagogy designed for English language learners.